Overdose is an extremely scary situation that can take a person’s life or leave them struggling with long-term injuries. According to Tonic, a person doesn’t always realize they are about to overdose as quickly as someone else might if they see them – signs include extreme drowsiness, cold hands, cloudy thinking, nausea/vomiting, extremely slowed breathing, and more. Overdose can occur from prescription drugs, illicit drugs, over-the-counter medications, and alcohol, leading to instant hospitalization. Overdose is serious, and may happen unintentionally or intentionally.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, unintentional overdose can happen because:

  • Drugs were taken accidentally
  • Too much of a drug was taken accidentally
  • The wrong drug was given or taken in error
  • An accident occurred in the use of a medal or surgical procedure

Unintentional overdose is quite common, with trends rising in increasing deaths from prescription opioids. A 2015 study conducted by researchers from New York, Boston, and California found that unintentional overdose deaths occur not just in urban areas, but are showing a prevalence in rural areas too. Additionally, cocaine, prescription opioids, and heroin are the drugs most commonly associated with unintentional overdose.

It seems the intentional overdose deaths, otherwise known as suicide, go underestimated. For example, a 2015 study published in a peer-reviewed, open access scientific journal found that after examining 110,000 drug overdose deaths between 2008 and 2010 across all 50 states, Louisiana came in at just under 6% of overdoses classified as suicide, while South Dakota’s proportion was almost at 29%. This wide variation raises a question that there may be more overdose suicides than we may think.

Additionally, intentional overdoses must typically be followed up by evidence, which often consists of a “suicide note” and other suicidal behavior found by friends or family. If not, the overdose may not be classified as such.

No matter the cause, overdoses are incredibly dangerous, and you should seek help if you are experiencing any adverse reactions immediately after consuming something. If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. There are people who care about you want to see you happy and healthy. There are many resources available, and you are not alone.

New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment programs. If are ready to seek treatment for substance abuse, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation. Our licensed, experienced health care professionals truly care about your success and will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit.


Addiction and behavioral healthcare are within reach when you join us at New Vista Behavioral Health:
A far-reaching horizon and new perspective toward addiction recovery, wellness and restoration. We are a national and renowned family of treatment centers focused on distinctive patient care, evidence-based treatment modalities and unwavering compassion.

If you are ready to pursue a life committed to your health, relationships and emotional well-being, you have a team that is willing to walk alongside you and restore hope for your future. Let us help you in taking the first step in your journey to recovery.

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